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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Remove pollutants from waste gases before they enter the environment Peatland Conservation

Key messages

Read our guidance on Key messages before continuing

  • One study evaluated the effects, on peatland vegetation, of removing pollutants from waste gases before release into the environment. The study was in bogs.
  • Plant richness/diversity (1 study): One before-and-after study in bogs in Estonia reported that following installation of dust filters in industrial plants (along with a general reduction in emissions), the number of Sphagnum moss species increased but the total number of plant species decreased.

Supporting evidence from individual studies


A before-and-after study in 1990–2007 in two raised bogs in Estonia (Paal et al. 2009) reported that after installing improved dust filters in industrial plants (along with a general reduction in emissions), total plant species richness decreased but Sphagnum moss species richness increased. These results were not tested for statistical significance. In the late 1980s/early 1990s, when bogs were polluted by calcium-rich ash, there were 91–123 plant species and nine Sphagnum species/0.1 ha. In 2007, after pollution was reduced, there were only 43–58 plant species but 14 Sphagnum species/0.1 ha. Throughout the 1990s, emissions of calcium-rich ash fell by 80%, partly through fitting improved dust filters but partly through reduced industrial activity. The study does not distinguish between the effects of these changes. In 2007, plant species were recorded in a 0.1 ha plot in each bog. Species richness was compared to published records from the late 1980s/early 1990s.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Taylor N.G., Grillas P. & Sutherland W.J. (2019) Peatland Conservation. Pages 375-438 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.